Well, hello! So sorry for the long hiatus, guys! Since baby Ruby made her debut, it appears that I’ve been doing a better job of keeping up with the Kardashians than I have with the ol’ blog…whoops. Being a mom of two is no joke, haha! But seriously though, things are great over here (albeit busy) and my sweet little infant is now a ginormous, giggly, drooly seven month old. Where does the time go?!
Anyway, since it’s been forever since I last blogged, I want to get to the point (and hopefully do so before *someone* wakes up from their nap). Let’s talk natural baby products! (And, with the holidays right around the corner, these would also make great gifts for the new mommies in your life!)
I want to start off by saying that going “natural” in your nursery doesn’t have to be difficult, or even more expensive! Sometimes it just takes a bit of research to figure out which products are worth swapping out for the more eco- and/or baby-friendly variety, but guess what? I’ve already done some of that groundwork for you!
5. Swap plastic baby bottles and sippy cups for glass and stainless steel:
We’ve all heard that toxic BPA can seep into food and beverages, so that’s why in 2012 the FDA made it illegal to use in baby bottles. But did you know that BPA alternatives might be even worse? Yikes. That’s why I use glass baby bottles and stainless steel sippy cups at my house. They are budget-friendly and super durable, and I know my kids are drinking exactly what I put in their cups, and nothing more. My favorites are the Avent glass bottles, which have a great nipple shape, and the Thermos Foogo stainless straw sippy cups, which my four year old has managed to throw around for years with no leaks! #miracle 😉 If you’re concerned about giving a glass bottle to an older baby who might drop it, check out these Life Factory bottles with protective silicone sleeves. Genius.
4. Swap plastic pacifiers and teethers for natural rubber and wood:
My first baby was addicted long-term to the “soothie” pacifier they gave him in the NICU (you know, the round, blue ones with the hole in the middle?), but before having my second I did more research and decided to choose a natural rubber alternative this time around. These can definitely be a bit pricier than the old hospital standard, but if your baby is an avid paci user, I highly recommend using rubber to avoid daily exposure to BPA, PVC and phthalates. These pacifiers are made from 100% natural rubber from the rubber tree, and are completely biodegradable too.
Once baby starts teething, they’ll want to put everything in their mouth. Chomping down on teethers helps soothe those sore gums. I love swapping the standard plastic teething rings and such for wooden teethers (how CUTE are these?!) and – everyone’s fave baby item – Sophie the Giraffe. Sophie is made from natural rubber, not plastic, so you don’t need to worry about her, and let’s face it, every baby loooooves that giraffe!
3. Swap your Johnson & Johnson for natural shampoos and lotions:
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but there’s a WHOLE lot of junk in baby shampoos that can be toxic for your babe. Not just J&J, but most brands contain hazardous ingredients that I prefer to steer clear of, especially when bathing my littlest loves. (Here’s an article that goes into more depth, if you would like more info.) I prefer to use natural products without synthetic fragrances, petroluem products, parabens, or phthalates on my developing kids. There are many great brands out there, including Earth Mama Angel Baby, whose shampoo smells like orange creamsicles and whose bottom balm and lotion work AMAZINGLY on delicate baby skin. If you want to try a smaller size of each product, I adore this gift set. I guarantee you’ll love their stuff, and no, I don’t get paid to say that. (But holla at ya girl, Earth Mama, if you want to! Haha!) I also use California Baby products, and they’ve got a super wide range of products from shampoo and lotion, to bug spray and sunscreen. They also have a cool gift set that lets you sample multiple travel sizes. Another great and super budget-friendly all-purpose moisturizer is organic coconut oil, which I buy in bulk at my local Costco. A little goes a long way for cradle cap, dry baby skin, sore nipples and more. Always keep in mind that the skin is the body’s largest organ, and what goes ON our bodies, ends up IN our bodies. For that reason, this swap is super important to me!
2. Swap your disposable diapers and wipes for cloth:
If you’ve ever visited my blog before, you know I am all about cloth diapers. They are the best! (I have written a post that busts 5 common cloth diaper myths for you non-believers out there, as well as a cloth diaper 101 for those thinking about starting. Check out those posts for all the diaper details!) Disposable diapers not only contain ingredients that are questionable at best, they’re also a HUGE environmental problem. The average baby poops his way to 2,500 diapers per year (!!!) that end up in landfills, while the cloth diapering family can buy just 24 cloth diapers that will last them from birth through toddlerhood. Depending on which brands you buy, you can also save ***thousands of dollars*** by investing in cloth. Just think, no more last minute Target runs for diapers or wipes, ever again. (Can I get a hallelujah?!) While my cloth diaper 101 post goes into way more detail about what you need to purchase, I’ll point you to my all time favorite cloth diaper here. It’s all we’re using on Miss Ruby and her sweet little buns adore them! See?
1. Swap your standard crib mattress for organic:
This is definitely the priciest swap, and I know it’s just not in the budget for many families, but if you can swing it, an organic crib mattress is a great investment. Since baby will spend so much time laying on the mattress in the first few years of life, it’s so beneficial to choose a mattress free of toxic chemicals. Wellness Mama wrote a great article about organic bedding, so I’ll point you there for more info. I will also share that we were unable to afford a fully organic mattress for the crib, but we went with the next best option, an organic cotton covered mattress with a waterproof organic mattress cover. Another way to avoid chemical off-gassing is to get a used mattress (from a trusted source). We actually bought ours from a friend who ended up cosleeping with her baby, so it was well aired out but still unused – score! Someday, when finances allow, I want to prioritize every mattress and pillow in our house to be completely non-toxic because we spend so much time snuggled up on them. There are also plenty of budget-friendly organic cotton crib sheets that can help you get that nursery as natural as possible without breaking the bank.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about some of my favorite natural products! I use all of these in my home and am not paid to endorse any of them – just spreading the love from one halfway hippy to another! xo